Drink-driver led police in 100mph chase through Cambois

A dangerous driver who led police on a high-speed pursuit hours after downing six cans of Stella has narrowly avoided benig sent to prison.

By Court reporter
Friday, 21st January 2022, 4:11 pm
Updated Monday, 24th January 2022, 11:12 am
The case was heard at Newcastle Crown Court.

David Thornton drove away from cops at around 11pm on October 13 and only stopped once they deliberately drove into his van.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how the 40-year-old was in a depressed and suicidal mood on the day of the night of the incident.

Prosecutor Paul Cross said: "Police responded to a 999 call from a member of the public regarding the Mr Thornton's behaviour whilst inside a scrap merchants yard.

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"When police attended the defendant was driving. He was in a van at a junction at some roads in Cambois in Northumberland.

"The vehicle drove at speeds close to 100mph within a 70mph stretch of road.

"The defendant didn't stop. He continued to drive at speed on the A189 through streets in Cambois in the hours of darkness.

"At one point the vehicle swerved from left to right for a number of minutes, despite clear indication from the police to stop.

"The dangerous driving caused the officer to get authority to bring the defendant's vehicle to a stop, using his police vehicle to strike it, bringing it to a stop."

Mr Cross told the court that Thornton was breathalysed and gave a reading of 68mg within 100ml of breath, which is just under twice the legal limit.

He was also found with a small amount of cannabis on him and the court heard he had planned to return home to collect more.

In mitigation, the court heard Thornton, who has two previous convictions, admitted the offending at the first possible opportunity.

Thornton, of Bridge Road, Lynemouth, Northumberland, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving over the prescribed limit of alcohol, and possession of cannabis.

Miss Recorder Davies noted Thornton's mental health state, combined with other health issues that he is dealing with.

The judge said: "You immediately admitted what you had done. You have only two previous convictions."

She imposed a two-year community order as well as a two-month electronically monitored curfew after he had already spent time on a tag since the offending.

Thornton must also complete 25 days of rehabilitation activities.